After taking journeys with BLABLACAR or holidaying in AIRBNB, now it’s the urban freight sector that is succumbing to the sirens of collaborative platforms. For a while now, various applications have appeared offering us the opportunity to don a deliveryman’s cap for the duration of our journey. En route for collaborative home delivery!

Collaborative platforms are now tackling home delivery. They promise their users money or savings, convenience and respect for the planet, as well as a social connection. It’s a practice that could blur the boundary between professionals and individuals and contribute to the development of the task or gig economy.

Are collaborative platforms taking over last mile delivery?

While the delivery sector has seen a real boom in recent years, particularly with the development of e-commerce and the arrival of food services such as UBEREATS and DELIVEROO, it was previously a matter for the professionals. But the widespread use of smartphones and now collaborative platforms is shaking things up. Now, everyone can become a delivery service when they’re on the road.

The new economy of collaborative platforms

What are the consequences? The cost of last mile delivery, which can represent up to 41% of total supply chain costs for a home delivery, could reduce. This would remove one of the main obstacles and allow everyone to benefit from this type of service. This is how applications such as COURSEUR and SHOPOPOP were born. These collaborative platforms offer the person doing the shopping the chance to collect their neighbour’s shopping for a small contribution, obviously much lower than the cost of home delivery. But the last mile market doesn’t stop at the supermarket.

Long distance deliveries via collaborative platforms

Launched in 2018, COLIBREE brings together people who need to send parcels or a piece of luggage far from home, and travellers who want to make their journeys profitable. The site works along the same lines as a small ads site that relays both delivery requests and route proposals. Date of travel, parcel weight, tip requested or offered…everything is set out and paid in advance via the site’s secure payment facility and parcels are insured for up to €2,000. It’s a way for travellers to earn some money by making use of additional space in their suitcase or vehicle. It’s an idea that another platform is operating too.


PIMPAMPOST: the collaborative platform for slow fashion

PIMPAMPOST was born from a desire to make the work of designers of ethical fashion available to as many people as possible. How? Simply by offering them a feasible solution for international delivery that would respect their ethical commitments…while relieving them of logistical constraints. To make it work, the site offers transporters (coaches, lorries, trains or ships) the chance to optimise their routes by monetising any unused space in their vehicles. Everyone’s a winner! The transport companies that receive additional revenue; designers who take advantage of regular routes all over Europe to dispatch their collections at a lower cost; and the environment which sees the carbon footprint lightened over those famous last miles thanks to the collaborative principle. So, will home delivery be the preserve of ordinary people in future? Perhaps…unless transport professionals decide to abandon the cities’ roads in favour of the sky by launching their fleets of delivery drones…

What if we skip the collaborative platforms?

The Covid 19 crisis has given rise to new habits. While some retailers implemented digital solutions, it also pushed others to come up with alternatives. In the USA a new practice has emerged: the curb side pick-up. How does it work? It’s as simple as the retailer popping out of his shop to take his products to the customer, who stays in their car, along the pavement or in the car park. It’s really easy to implement and doesn’t need any infrastructure or app, unlike the collaborative platforms. It’s always worth going out to meet your customer!


Crédit photo ; iStock, Colisbree, Pimpampost